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More Leveson action 'totally wrong'
Sir Brian Leveson with the report from the Inquiry into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press.
Sir Brian Leveson has insisted that he will not interfere in the stand-off between politicians and the press over regulation reforms.
The judge said it would be "totally wrong" for him to comment on the controversy surrounding proposed changes which are based on his report last year.
He also hinted that a planned second part of his inquiry, dealing with phone hacking, may never happen.
Sir Brian was giving evidence to a House of Lords select committee as the row over how to regulate the press rages on.
Earlier this week, m inisters rejected the industry's proposals for a new system underpinned by a Royal Charter .
However, Culture Secretary Maria Miller has indicated that she is still hoping to address media concerns by amending the Government's plans - which have already received cross-party support in a Commons vote.
The document will be published on Friday, before being put to the Privy Council at the end of the month.
Sir Brian told peers it would be "totally wrong" for a senior judge to step into the public domain by commenting further on press regulation.
"It would be absolutely inappropriate for me to come back into the question of my report or regulation of the press," he said.
"I was given a job to do - I was to examine the facts and make recommendations."
He said some people might think he had already laid out his findings in "tedious detail".
"I have said all that I can say on the topic. Many, many people have asked me to give speeches, keynote lectures. They come in every week," he added.
Sir Brian said he stood by what he said when he published his report last year: "I have done my best, it is for others to decide how to take this forward."
Asked outside the hearing whether he would be declining to comment when he appears before the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee tomorrow, the judge replied: "You will find out tomorrow, won't you?"
Sir Brian, now President of the Queen's Bench Division, said his inquiry into media standards had been "at the very edge" in terms of whether it should be headed by a judge.
He told the committee, which is looking into the operation of the Inquiries Act, that if there had not been cross-party consensus over the terms of reference the Lord Chief Justice may well have opposed a judge taking charge.
"It is one of the reasons why I have been very clear that I made my views clear in the report and then have said nothing more," he said. "The report is a very bulky document. It was determined that everybody should be able to see the evidence that I had received, the conclusions that I had reached and the reasons for the conclusions that I had reached."
Sir Brian praised lead counsel Robert Jay QC and his team, saying they made a "enormous contribution" to the drafting process.
However, he insisted their work had been "all to my direction".
Pressed on whether he could carry out further work on a Press regulation system, Sir Brian said: "I hesitate to say it, there is within the terms of reference another part of this inquiry.
"I don't know when anyone will consider that. Certainly not at the moment.
"But that is not for me to say."
The Privy Council will formally be notified at a meeting later that the press proposals for a royal charter are not being taken forward.
Sticking points included media opposition to a free arbitration service, which publishers fear could encourage frivolous complaints, as well as the industry's desire to have representation on a new "recognition panel" to be created by the charter.
Under the cross-party plans, the job of adjudicating on complaints and imposing penalties will be performed by a new self-regulatory body set up by the industry to replace the Press Complaints Commission. The panel would be required to verify whether this watchdog was effective and genuinely independent of publishers.
However, it would be up to individual publishers to sign up to a regulator endorsed by the panel, and there is speculation that many or all of the major newspapers could opt out of the proposed system if it does not address their concerns over freedom from political interference.
Tory Mrs Miller signalled that she is ready to give ground on two issues of concern to the press.
She is proposing to make provision for a fee for use of the arbitration service, which would be small enough to comply with Sir Brian's recommendation of a "low-cost" facility but large enough to deter speculative claims.
It is thought the charge could be in line with fees for using the small claims court, which range between £35 and £685.
She also indicated that Conservatives are ready to accept the industry drawing up a code of conduct for editors, to be approved by the independent regulator's board.
However, if no cross-party agreement with Labour and the Liberal Democrats is reached by Friday, Mrs Miller has indicated she will press ahead with the version of the charter agreed at a late-night meeting over pizzas in Whitehall on March 18 in the presence of Hacked Off.
Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said the gap between the press and the Government on regulation was "bridgeable" and "could probably be done in a day".
He told BBC Radio 4's World at One: "My sense is that the politicians are willing to amend some of the things that the press found problematic in the original charter."
John Whittingdale, chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said he hoped Sir Brian would not seek to avoid answering its questions tomorrow.
"I hope that is not the case," he said. "I think it would be helpful if he could express a view about where we go from here.
"A lot of these views, people are claiming that they are trying to deliver what Leveson intended to deliver."
Tory MP Mr Whittingdale added: "Having spent a great deal of time preparing a report for Parliament, I hope he would feel it is appropriate for him to answer questions.
"I personally think he could be enormously helpful in trying to identify a way forward."
Mr Whittingdale said he had not been given any indication as to whether Sir Brian would engage with the committee's questions.
"We can ask that he attend and he has agreed to do so. But it is then a matter for him as to how he answers the questions," he added.